The sacred monastery of Lefkada with its beautiful gardens was built on a hill above Agios Ioannis. Faneromeni Monastery (Moni Faneromeni) is the most famous monastery in Lefkada island, which preserve a lot of invaluable icons, precious paintings, wood carvings, handwritten manuscripst, old Bibles and other religious relics.
History of Faneromeni
Legends said that in ancient times the inhabitants of Lefkada built a marble temple on a top of a hill, which was dedicated to Artemis, Goddess of hunt, forests and animals. In the Greek mythology Artemis was described as a daughter of the mighty Zeus. Two thousands years ago Apostle Paul sent three of his disciples to Lefkada island to spread Christianity, and one of them was built a church, over the ruins of the ancient marble temple. The founder of the church, Sosion became the first bishop of Lefkada island.
Faneromeni Monastery has been rebuilt several times over centuries, because fires and earthquakes have destroyed the buildings. Nowadays the Monastery is surrounded by a well maintained, beautiful garden with dozens of grapes, geraniums, pines and other lush vegetation.
Where to find and how to access Faneromeni Monastery
The access of the Monastery is quite easy, beause it is located just about 4 kilometers from Lefkada town. Drive from Lefkada town in the direction of the west coast (follow Agios Nikitas, Kathisma, etc road signs), and after you have leaved the town and get higher on the hill, there will be a road sign after a large bend, and Faneromeni Monastery is right there.
The Monastery has two entrances, but the parking lot is located next to the west gate, and is it recommended to enter from that direction. The visit of Faneromeni Monastery is free of charge, you don’t have to pay a ticket or entry fee. Don’t forget that this is a holy place, and can be enter dressed modestly.
What to see in the Monastery
Faneromeni has a beautiful garden with lush vegetation, where the atmospheres are peaceful. Visitors can enter into the church building, where the gilded interiors and paintings are. You can also walk to the other entrance, which has a small bell tower and offer amazing views to Agios Ioannis beach and to the north side of Lefkada.
Museums of Faneromeni Monastery
The monastery has an Ecclesiastical Museum, where hundreds of religious objects are preserved, and it belongs to the most interesting museums of Lefkada. You can walk around the relics, silvered and gold-plated objects, wooden carvings, hundreds of years old paintings. The exhibiton includes sacred objects not just from Faneromeni, but from other smaller churches and monasteries of Lefkada island.
Under the Ecclesiastical Museum, in the basement there is an another interesting museum, the Maritime Museum. There are dozens of interesting ship miniatures, most of them are meticulously crafted and hand painted. You can see here a lot of miniatures of legendary ships, such as the Papanikolis submarine, the mighty Titanic, or the famous ships of the great explorer, Christopher Columbus. In addition to the models, old shipping devices (old telescopes, sextants, etc) can be viewed also. The Maritime Musem in Lefkada was founded by Nikos Thanos Morinas, an important member of Lefkada Philharmonic Society.
If you visit the Ecclesistical Museum and the Maritime Museum, you can discover two interesting and valuable Museums of Lefkada at the same place! There are no entry fees or ticket prices when entering these Museums, it’s completely free.
The Faneromeni Ark – Mini Zoo in Lefkada
Next to the parking lot, directly at the entrance of Faneromeni Monastery there is a Mini Zoo, which is the only one Zoo in Lefkada island. You can walk around and see some cute and tiny parrots, deers, agile squirrels, and even some small turtles! The small ones usually like this very much, so if you arrive to Lefkada for a holiday with your children, don’t forget this tiny Zoo.
The name “Faneromeni” comes from the Greek word “Fanerono (Φανερώνω)”, which means “reveal”.
Guide to the Holy Monastery of Faneromeni / info box
Coordinates: 38.825401, 20.678116
5 km west from Lefkada town
Facilities: Maritime Museum, Ecclesiastical Museum
Accessibility: by car (asphalt road)
Opening hours: 8:00 – 14:00, 16:00 – 19:00
Entrance Fee: –